Phil J went on this ride led by Milton, our Secretary, and writes:
Five hardy riders including Northampton visitor Ken and ‘rarely to be seen’ Mike H set off on this post festive ride from the Canoe Centre surprised that it hadn’t been snowed off considering the forecast. After a couple of miles we all began to regret the extra helpings of Christmas pudding and Quality Street as we climbed the first hill at Great Houghton.
Once up, it seemed like a wonderful autumn day rather than a winter’s ride as the sun was shining against lovely blue skies and helping to keep us warm.
We blazed down to Hackleton at a pace and, heading towards Denton, it seemed like Milton had arranged for closed roads as we barely saw any motorised transport. Large puddles of surface water were the main obstacles on the roads but nobody came unstuck.
A winter breeze accompanied us from then on and the skies turned grey as we headed towards Castle Ashby where we enjoyed the view of the great building as we passed by.
Hardwater Hill proved to be another gem in Milton’s route as it tested all riders right to the top.
We pressed on at a steady pace eventually arriving at the Beckworth Emporium in Sywell for a well-earned rest. As befits the location some of the group opted for Earl Grey and scones!
Once on our way again, Eleanor said goodbye leaving the four guys to continue the journey. As the A45 came into view we realised we were on the best form of transport as there was total gridlock all around. On the cycle paths alongside we spilt up and headed our own way home leaving just the writer to continue back to the Canoe Centre.
Thanks for the ride Milton! Well done all!
Six of us set off from the Canoe Centre on what was the warmest pre-Christmas ride I can recall. Heading up through Brackmills and round the golf course at Collingtree, avoiding the joggers who were also out making use of the clement weather, we headed out on country roads to the hills between Gayton and Pattishall. On a cooler day they would have been invigorating but there was a certain amount of sweat being raised as we fought both gravity and the rather vigorous headwind. Fortunately, the turn south towards Towcester lessened the effect of the latter and in good spirits, we decided to find the back way in to the Dolphin Café
10 minutes later …
Booked as a brunch stop, most seemed to order a second breakfast instead, but it left us properly fuelled for the wind-assisted run back through Hartwell and Salcey which passed without incident, apart from a brief vision of JohnC heading the other way.
R … Iain
Milton, our new Secretary, went on this ride and writes:
A hardy band of nine met up at the Brampton Valley Way starting point for Phil G’s 30-mile brisk ride. He could really have advertised it as icy brisk, as it was certainly that.
We headed out through the Bramptons and thence to Holdenby, Guilsborough and West Haddon by which time the hilly terrain had done for two of us who took the offered short cut to the pub at Great Brington via the beautiful and historic Ashby St Ledgers. Later Phil would stop the main group there to point out the building in which the gunpowder plot was reputedly hatched.
As the sun sank and our lights went on we came across a couple of lads trying to push their broken-down car up the single track road to Welton to find a safe spot to leave it. We downed bikes and heaved them to a safe spot before setting off again and starting to wonder if we’d kindly helped a pair of thieves with their booty. Who can tell? If they were thieves, they were grateful ones!
By the time we reached Long Buckby it was pitch black and the single track and lonely road to the pub at Great Brington loomed large to those of us with less than adequate lights … me that is. I stuck to the well endowed in the lighting department as s*** sticks to a shovel and made it through.
We, all nine of us now, had a beer or two in front of a fine open fire and reluctantly, as it was colder than ever and annoyingly still dark, we set off on the final few miles back to our starting point via Harlestone and Church Brampton.
How did I find my first ever night ride? … Bonkers, totally bonkers but much fun. We all enjoyed it and owe a debt of gratitude to Phil G for leading it.